Vernaccia was first noted in the history books of 1276, when the Commune of San Gimignano put a taxation on all imports and exports of its precious white wine. The exact origin of this vine is a little uncertain, but its cultivation quickly spread all over Tuscany, to Liguria and in many other regions in Italy.
The original Medieval Vernaccia was thought to have been a white, sweet and very alcoholic wine, similar to the “Greek” wines of that time. Vernaccia was much appreciated by many eminent supporters such as Pope Martin IV and poets, including Dante Alighieri and Giovanni Boccaccio, along with powerful governors Ludovico il Moro and Lorenzo il Magnifio, all of whom praised the properties of Vernaccia.
In the seventeenth century, the poets Gabriello Chiabrera, Francesco Redi and Michelangelo Buonarroti “il giovane” again celebrated the Vernaccia di San Gimignano. ‘It kisses, licks, bites, pricks and stings” (“Bacia, lecca, morde, picca e punge”) wrote Michelangelo in his “L’Aione” in 1643. After a rather fallow period where this world-famous wine remained out of favour with wine aficionados it has now regained a good-standing with wine-lovers both old and young. Today, Vernaccia is one of the best white wines in Italy, attracting visitors in their thousands to its various vineyards in the San Gimignano region.
Vernaccia has a typical straw-yellow colour with golden nuances enhanced by ageing. It boasts an elegant and delicate bouquet, with fruity and flowery notes. After refinement and ageing it develops its typical mineral nose of flint. On the palate, it is a dry, harmonious wine, with a typical almond after-taste. It is a perfect partner to fish, white meats, vegetables, Tuscan ham, “ribollita” soup and many other seasonal spring and summer dishes.